How Medicover Global is forging ahead in India
Since its foray into the Indian market, Medicover Hospitals has been consistently expanding its footprint while proactively promoting the development of a healthy nation. With the strength of 18 hospitals and 16 fertility centers, Medicover is all set to become the leading healthcare provider in India. “India is the land of great opportunities! Medicover will bring best-in-class technology, capital, world-class infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and other elite services to deliver quality, process-oriented, patientcentric healthcare in India. This market is all set to witness tremendous growth over the next few decades, and Medicover is rightly positioned to tap into this opportunity,” Fredrik Ragmark, CEO, Medicover Global says.
Medicover Global is a 25-year-old company headquartered in Poland, dedicated to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of the people they serve. The company is known for long-term investment in client relationships, improving access and quality of care, as well as focusing on early diagnosis and preventive measures. Medicover Global operates through two divisions – Diagnostic Services and Healthcare Services, focusing on markets mainly in Central and Eastern Europe and India. Today, Medicover’s Healthcare Services encompasses 117 medical clinics, 20 fertililty clinics, 52 dental clinics, 25 hospitals and 25 gyms; spanning Poland, Germany, Romania, India, Ukraine, and a partner network of more than 2,300 local healthcare service providers.
Medicover Fertility was the first step in bringing Medicover’s comprehensive range of healthcare services to the
Indian market. The company entered the Indian healthcare market in 2016, with $100 million investment in the IVF segment. Medicover was the first single European family-owned organisation bringing in 100 per cent investment in healthcare delivery in India.
The Swedish family that runs Medicover is the same family that launched the Oriflame cosmetics brand that has a strong presence in India. The family’s values are evident in all aspects of the business, particularly in its relationships with its patients and its employees. In August, 2017, Medicover entered the hospital market in India through an initial investment in Sahrudaya Healthcare that owned the Maxcure Hospitals which had nine hospitals in the region of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India. The company initially picked up 22 per cent stake in Maxcure amounting to EUR 13.2 million.
In December, 2019 Medicover increased its ownership in MaxCure from 49.2 per cent to 53.1 per cent and acquired majority ownership and started to consolidate its business in India. “This is a significant milestone in our development in India where we now have 18 hospitals and 16 fertility centres. We are excited to welcome such
a great team into the group and look forward to driving further growth in coming years,” says John Stubbington,
COO Healthcare Services Medicover.
In 2020 Medicover’s presence in India has grown from 11 hospitals at the beginning of the year to 17 at year-end. Today they are present in Madhapur, Hyderabad and in Vizag, Srikakulam, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Nashik, Nellore, Kurnool, Sangareddy, Zaheerabad, Chandanagar and Aurangabad. In addition, Medicover runs two radiology centres and two cancer centres in Mysore and Bengaluru.
Medicover owns 56 per cent of Medicover Hospitals India and the company has more than 8000 employees in India. By the end of 2020, Medicover also had 16 fertility clinics in India, mostly located in the Delhi area, where around one-third of Medicover’s IVF cycles are performed. Medicover fertility clinics are among the top fertility clinics there, offering some of the highest success rates in the region.
Medicover recognised the potential of the Indian market and is dedicated to make this market a focal point to
Medicover’s international business. The company has said that it will continue to invest in this fast-growing market. The Group has to date invested Rs 700 crore in the form of debt and equity; and has committed another Rs 300 crore towards upcoming projects.
Dr Anil Krishna, Chairman, Medicover Hospitals India says, “We aim to serve five crore population for both outpatient and inpatient services, currently we are serving one crore population. In addition we are targeting to reach a topline of 2000 crore by 2023 and 5000 crore by 2027.”
P Hari Krishna, Executive Director, Medicover Hospitals India says, “We will be the leading healthcare chain
in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra by 2023 and will expand our bed capacity from current 3000
beds to 5000 beds by 2023. By 2027, we have plans to expand in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well.”
Recently, Neeraj Lal, joined Medicover Hospitals as Group Senior Vice President-Telegana, Andhra Pradesh,
Maharashtra. In an interaction with M Neelam Kachhap he outlines the unique initiatives to increase efficiency and improve patient care.
How do you look at the recent developments at Medicover Hospitals?
Medicover hospitals started two years back after the strategic investment of Medicover from Sweden and has
expanded in a short time to 18 hospitals spread across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. We aim to be in the top three best healthcare company in India by 2022 and bringing McDonaldisation of healthcare services across all our units. So, the terrain is tough, but I enjoy riding through it. I worked for Rainbow Children’s Hospital for a period of four years and joined Medicover Hospitals last year as Group Senior Vice President for the group. The transition from a child multi-specialty to a multinational hospital chain has been a fascinating journey as the challenges in both the facilities are entirely different.
How has your journey been for the past six months?
The company is going through a dynamic change as it is on the verge of rapid expansion and structural change.
Standardization of the operations and leveraging technology are the major focus areas as we are moving ahead. In a journey since I joined, there has been a major drift as we worked towards strengthening our IT framework,
introducing patient applications, implementing EMR and working towards innovative solutions. We have started
AI cameras to capture the emotions of the patients and employees and we also started Asset management application for smoothening the workflow and for better management of the assets.
We also stepped into home healthcare to provide improved accessibility of healthcare and continuity of care.
What were the initial challenges Medicover hospitals faced in India?
Out of 18 hospitals, we have five hospitals in Hyderabad and the rest are in Tier II and Tier III Cities and we target to take healthcare deeper into the society where there is an actual need for healthcare. We faced a major
challenge to get highly qualified doctors in the interior towns. We have acquired some hospitals and
build some from scratch. The major challenge we faced as we rapidly grew is of streamlining operations and to
connect all the units together to have a standardised system in place. We are continuously working towards
achieving international standard of healthcare across all the units.
What has been your focus since you joined Medicover?
Medicover handles various specialties under its umbrella. Be it a multispecialty hospital, a cancer institute, a dedicated women and child hospital, or fertility clinics and radiology/ diagnostic centres. I joined the organisation with a vision to bring McDonaldisation of healthcare across all the units which means when you enter any unit of
Medicover, whether in Metro or in Tier II or Tier III, you will receive the same services throughout your journey in
the hospital. This will not only build the trust of our patients but also help us project ourselves as a strong healthcare chain of India.
The brand has grown many folds since it started operations in India. How do you perceive this growth?
There is no doubt that Medicover has expanded in a big way to have 18 hospitals on board in a short span of
time. The major USP which I feel is that unlike other large hospital chains, Medicover has shown its presence in
Tier II and Tier III cities which is the future of Healthcare in India and the metros are already saturated and the
actual need of healthcare is in these areas. The doctor to patient and nurses to patient ratios gap is the highest in these places and there has been a big void of quality of healthcare also which, according to me will help Medicover to stay in the business and lead the market.
How is Medicover positioned in the market today?
Medicover is the second hospital chain in India, after Parkway where foreign investors have their landed money. We have more than 3000+ beds and a manpower force of more than 8000+ employees and 700+ consultants which is one of the largest in India with a turnover clocking around rupees 800 crores per annum which places us in top ten hospitals according to revenue earned.
How is Medicover India performing as compared to the other Medicover businesses globally?
Medicover is one of the most respected healthcare brands in the world with presence in 12 countries across the
globe – Germany, Sweden, Poland, Turkey, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Moldova,
Ukraine and India. There are 26 Hospitals, 16 fertility centres in India and Europe and 125 medical centres. In
India, we have a chain of 18 hospitals which is governed by Medicover India spread across Telangana, Andhra
Pradesh and Maharashtra.
What are your expansion plans?
As a multi super speciality hospital we provide all super speciality services to our patients and community at large. We are majorly known for best recovery and precision care in specialties like interventional cardiology, cardio thoracic surgery, neuro surgery, orthopaedics, transplant surgeries and many more. Now we have stepped
into home healthcare to reach out to the community at large and hold their hands even after they get discharge
from the hospital. It will allow people who require extra care to remain in their homes, reducing the burden
otherwise shouldered by healthcare facilities. The services also can be less expensive than these other facilities.
We are also working on teleradiology and transitioning from traditional form of healthcare delivery to a digital one.
How do you see the next five years for Medicover in India?
In the next five years, we aim to come in top three healthcare chains in India delivering healthcare of international standards.